RAF Red Arrows’ flypast for King’s Coronation could be cancelled

The Red Arrows may be forced to cancel their flypast to celebrate King Charles III’s coronation on Saturday as poor visibility threatening to cast a cloud over the monarch’s big day. The Met Office is warning of greys cloud on Saturday afternoon over London, with intermittent showers and clouds as low as 200 metres above the ground.

More than 60 aircraft from the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force – including the Red Arrows – are due to take part in the flypast over The Mall at around 2.15pm on Saturday.

However, an Ministry of Defence spokesman admitted there were no guarantees.

He said: “As is always the case for flypasts of this type, the latest weather information will be obtained, and weather checks will take place in advance of the main flypast on Saturday.

“Depending on the weather there are a number of contingencies in place.”

If the safety of the flypast cannot be guaranteed, it could be scaled back or even cancelled altogether.

Met Office deputy chief forecaster Steven Keates said: “On Saturday we will see heavy rain moving north-eastwards through the morning.

“This is likely to bring some rain to London by around lunchtime as it spreads east and north across roughly the southern third of the UK.”

Flight restrictions affecting light aircraft and drones will be imposed above central London on Friday and Saturday due to the coronation.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper has banned aircraft from flying below 2,500 feet in an area which includes Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey “on advice from the Metropolitan Police Service”, according to a notice to pilots published online.

The rules will be in force from 9am on Friday until 9pm on Saturday.

On Saturday, the coronation service will be held at Westminster Abbey following a procession from Buckingham Palace.

Other restrictions on that day include some relating to a helicopter flight from London to Chippenham, which is believed to be for the Queen Consort to travel to her Wiltshire home.

The airspace restrictions will have an impact on light aircraft pilots and drone users, but not commercial flights.

That is in contrast with the day of the late Queen’s funeral, when more than 100 Heathrow Airport flights were cancelled to prevent aircraft noise disturbing proceedings at Westminster Abbey and Windsor Castle.

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